Atlantic Works Gallery announces its April exhibition

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In the Woods: Nature-Inspired Paintings and Drawings by Joan Ryan and Julie C Baer

Atlantic Works Gallery (AWG) in East Boston announced its April exhibition will be a two-person show by Boston-based painters and gallery members Joan Ryan and Julie C Baer composed of paintings and drawings inspired by nature. In the Woods: Nature-Inspired Paintings and Drawings by Joan Ryan and Julie C Baer will open Friday, April 5 and run until Sunday, April 28.  There will be an opening reception on Saturday April 6 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the gallery and an Atlantic Works Gallery’s traditional Third Thursday “meet the artist” reception on Thursday April 18 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

“The impetus for my work is what the Naturalists and Romantic landscape painters referred to as Ruckenfigur, where a figure is placed in a sprawling landscape contemplating life’s quandaries,” explained Ryan.  But in her work, Ryan replaces the human figure with discarded objects from Western culture, specifically with the “iconic and nostalgic television set.” Ryan’s paintings contrast a lush, unabashedly beautiful “nature” to objects such as discarded TV monitors and computer-related “techno/trash.” Also on view in the exhibition will be Ryan’s installation of 300 5”x7” small works called Street Life, a survey of discarded televisions in one Boston neighborhood. Along with this installation are large mixed-media drawings that represent an entropic outlook on our propensity for consumption.

Baer explained, “My work reflects my close observation and sensory impressions of the shifting light, variegated colors, constant movement, regular yet unique shapes, and visual patterns of the natural world around me, wherever I am. My paintings trace the seasonal unfolding of natural life cycles within local ecosystems.“ Baer works abstractly, yet botanically accurately. Her aim is to surprise viewers with unusual views and compositions to induce them to look and look again, just as she has done. As Visiting Artist at the Native Plant Trust, she is currently making large-scale yet intimate mixed-media paintings abstractly depicting the patterns and designs of fungi and lichen growing on old trees and leaf litter. Baer is exquisitely aware that nature is our collective home and humans have caused irreparable habitat, resource, and species loss. Her work responds to ecologists’ call for native ecosystem rediscovery and restoration, and collectively embodies biodiversity. Her work offers ongoing opportunities for discovery, inviting viewers to go outdoors and look around, and to care for themselves and their own habitats. 

Atlantic Works Gallery In the Woods: Nature-Inspired Paintings and Drawings by Joan Ryan and Julie C Baer (details)

Show opens Saturday, April 6; reception 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  “Third Thursday”; April 18, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.Show closes Sunday, April 28 Boston Design Week events April 27 & 28, 12-6 p.m.


Atlantic Works Gallery, 80 Border Street, Boston, MA 02128, now in its twenty-first year, is an artist-run collaborative space for art and ideas located in East Boston. The gallery is open to the public every Friday and Saturday, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. For private viewing, contact contact@atlanticworks.org. For more information, visit https://atlanticworks.org/ .

East Boston